WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Jahana Hayes (CT-05) introduced the Caring for Survivors Act of 2021, a bill that will expand eligibility and increase payments for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) benefits for survivors. The families of service members who died in the line of duty, and disabled veterans who died from a service-connected condition, receive DIC benefits monthly. 

“I introduced the Caring for Survivors Act of 2021 to ensure survivors get the benefits their loved ones have earned. We owe it to the brave men and women who put their lives on the line to take care of their families and get them the support they need. I thank my colleague Chairman Tester for his continued partnership on behalf of service members and their families and hope to see this bill advance in the near future,” said Congresswoman Hayes. 

The Caring for Survivors Act of 2021 is also supported by Reps. Grijalva and Frankel, and is endorsed by the Paralyzed Veterans of America, Disabled American Veterans, Gold Star Wives, and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA).  

The Caring for Survivors Act of 2021 would: 

  • Increase the monthly DIC benefits by approximately $300 per recipient; and 

  • Reduce the time frame a veteran must be disabled in order to qualify, allowing more survivors to become eligible for benefits. 

Previously, Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) restricted benefits for survivors if the veteran was disabled for less than 10 years before his or her death. Due to the restrictive timeline for approval, DIC payments are currently behind other federal program payments by nearly 12 percent. The rate of compensation paid to the surviving spouses and family members of service members and veterans has been minimally adjusted since it was established in 1993.  

In the 116th Congress, Congresswoman Hayes introduced the Surviving Families Benefit Expansion Act and the Dependency and Indemnity Compensation Improvement Act (H.R. 3221), which would expand monthly DIC benefits from the VA to more surviving spouses and family members, and would increase the benefit DIC recipients receive from 43% to 55% of a single 100% disabled veteran’s compensation, respectively. Provisions from these bills were passed into law last year.  


Congresswoman Jahana Hayes sits on the Committees on Education & Labor and Agriculture and proudly represents Connecticut’s 5th District. She was a public school teacher in Connecticut for more than 15 years and was recognized in 2016 as the National Teacher of the Year.